Separated at Birth

Dear Baby Audrey,

May 13, 2014, today is your daddy’s 31st birthday!  You may not get to hear his heartbeat from the inside but I know you feel his heart.  He has a calming effect on you already.  Almost every time you are rolling around in my belly, he can put his hand over you and you calm down.  It’s amazing really.  Happy birthday, Daddy!

Today you are 34 weeks and 2 days old.  I wrote my first letter to you when you were 20 weeks and 2 days old.

So much has happened in the past 14 weeks – we’ve experienced high peaks and low valleys, but through it all you keep fighting, your heart keeps beating.  Ingrid Michaelson sings, “…all the broken hearts of the world still beat, let’s not make it harder than it has to be….I’ve got two hands one beating heart, and I’ll be alright…”  Isn’t that the truth?  Your heart may be broken, but for now it beats inside me.

Your big brother talks about you often these days.  One day recently, the morning sunshine was fiercely beaming through dark, low set clouds as we drove to school.  I pointed out the beautiful sky to Cooper and without pause he said, “That’s Audrey!”

What does that mean?  Where did that come from baby girl?  I wish I knew, but I will hold on to that moment forever.

Your time in my belly is coming to an end.  14 days from today, doctors will bring you into the world.  14 more mornings to wake up with you kicking and squirming right inside my belly.  14 more days I can feel each one your hiccups.  And 14 more days that we share a body.

I am sorry my body seems to have failed you, sweet baby.  Mostly I want to shield you from pain, from any ounce of suffering.  We’re unprepared for what will happen the moment the doctors cut the cord, when we are separated.  Yet, we continue to TRUST.  If you can do one thing for us when you are born, be clear.  Be clear in what you need or don’t need.  It is, after all, what your middle name stands for…clear.  Audrey stands for noble strength and Claire means clear.  We already know your strength, soon we will need clarity.

You already know this because you hear everything happening outside the womb by now, but today we had our weekly doctor’s appointment.  Sarah and Carrie came too!  They were there to support you and I and get a glimpse of your little body on the ultrasound.  A special memory to share.

CarrieAndSarah

May 13, 2014 | After Non-Stress Test

Oh teeny girl, it seems you’ve plateaued in your growth.  No increases in the past week.  Making it to 3lbs will be such an achievement, and I know it will happen by the time you are born.  The hope in the next 14 days is that your lungs would mature as much as possible.  We’ll go in for one last appointment next Tuesday afternoon and then delivery is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27th.

Giving up control and choosing to trust continues to require daily patience and intention.  Sometimes I feel like you are holding on to help God teach me to let go.  Like you are a vessel for something bigger than any of us can understand right now.  I keep thinking that I have let go and am trusting fully, but am I really?  Does saying it out loud or thinking it enough actually make it true?  Perhaps not.  Perhaps there is still a lesson (or many) to learn, strength to obtain…opportunities to grow.  I keep hearing, “Be still…stop.  Just stop.”  My instinct is to answer with, “What will happen when I do?“…but, if I am honest with myself, the foundation of my simple question really is controlling and plan-driven.  Instead I need to answer with action…or a lack thereof.

The best thing about being still is the opportunity to feel you and to hear Him.  To experience and memorize the pattern of your little movements and to praise the moments I hear a voice louder than my own.

Baby girl, your daddy and I love you in a deep way.  You carry us with you…inside of you.  Your little body is made up of pieces of us – you are ours.

I’ll write to you again soon, Audrey girl…

All my love,

Mama

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5 thoughts on “Separated at Birth

  1. Your words pierce my very soul and grip my heart. I think I quote this scripture almost every day, grasping for a thread of peace and understanding:

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

    Your strength and resolve have inspired all who know you and countless more who do not. I only wish we who love you could do more, help you more, help her grow, heal her frail body, bring you clarity and peace and hope. Yet, we watch and are daily reminded of of our human weakness and limits. We pray as best we know how to the One who gives life, hoping for the miracle. We are ready to meet Miss Audrey just as she is and to welcome her and love her. Hang on precious girls.

  2. I don’t know who made my cry more you or your dad. I see where you get you elegantly written words from though. I love you Rachel!

  3. Rachel, I have worked for 40 years with parents facing the hardest challenge of all: how to help and protect their child to the best of their ability in circumstances where they hardly have any control. Your strength and grace stand out to me among all the precious moms I have listened to and had the honor of supporting. Your expressions of love, grace, humility, fear, and most of all hope are amazing and Miss Audrey can feel your precious heartfelt comfort. You are doing everything you can for her and at the same time your shared thoughts and feelings will help all who follow along. God bless your family. CJ

  4. Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful words. I am so glad that Sarah and Carrie got to be with you yesterday. We are with you, praying for Audrey these next fourteen days. We already love her so much and are so proud she made it to 3 lb. She is such an amazing little girl. Love you Rachel!

  5. God bless you and keep you little Miss Audrey Claire~ You have brought such love to your Momma, Daddy, and Big Brother, Cooper~ We often know not why, but do know that God will carry us through, no matter what faces us. We love you and pray for you each day. Cynthia & Scottie

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